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Pistachio Pasta Salad Florentine

Contributed by: NAPSA

(NAPSA) - According to a recent USDA study conducted to measure phytochemical components of nuts, fruits and vegetables, a significant amount of the antioxidant lutein has been found in pistachios.
Pistachio Pasta Salad Florentine
The medical community and emerging scientific evidence suggests that consuming foods that contain lutein may play a major role in maintaining eye health. "While lutein is most commonly found in dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, as well as other fruits and vegetables that are orange or yellow in color, it is surprising to find significant amounts of this valuable antioxidant in pistachios," says nutrition consultant Kathy McMahon, PhD, RD. The amount of lutein found in a one-ounce serving of pistachios is 0.36 mg, equivalent to about a one-fourth cup serving of fresh broccoli or cooked sweet corn.

It has recently been found that lutein in the body is highly concentrated in the retina and lens of the eye.

Consequently, a number of studies have been released showing the relationship between higher lutein intake and a lower incidence of eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Age-related macular degeneration is a breakdown of the central portion of the retina and is the principal cause of blindness among people age 65 and older.

Cataracts are prevalent in 40 percent of American adults over the age of 75.

While it is still too early to set dietary recommendations for lutein, it has been estimated that an intake of 6 mg per day may be protective. Currently, lutein intake among Americans is more in the range of 1 to 2 mg per day, likely due to a low consumption of dark green leafy vegetables.

"Pistachios have always been a healthy snack choice for Americans and now lutein is just another good reason to make sure that we all grab a handful each day," said Dr. McMahon. "This lutein-rich Pis-tachio Pasta Salad Florentine recipe combines delicious pistachios with other high lutein ingredients such as spinach and peas to provide about 3 mg of lutein in just one serving."

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces small tube-shaped pasta
  • 2 cups (2 ounces) torn fresh spinach
  • 2 cups (11 ounces) halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups (10 ounces) thawed peas
  • 1/2 cup shelled natural California pistachios
  • Dressing (recipe follows)

Directions:

Drop pasta into boiling water; return to boil. Cook 10 to 15 minutes or until tender. Drain. Toss pasta, spinach, tomatoes, peas, pistachios and dressing in large bowl.

Dressing Recipe:

Combine 2 tablespoons honey, 21/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1 egg white, 11/2 teaspoons dried oregano (crumbled) and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder.

Makes 1/2 Cup

Serving Size: Makes 4 (2-cup) Servings


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